Severe Weather: Supercell, Hail Accumulation, Storm Damage

4/12/14 – Today was a day that had looked halfway decent on the computer models in regards to chances for storms for a few days prior to the event. As the time drew nearer, I began having some higher hopes that we’d see some pretty good storms around here. The WRF-NMM was being the most bullish, showing strong thunderstorms training across lower Michigan. As it would turn out, the WRF-NMM would come to be correct. Sometimes it’s that one, lone computer model that nails a forecast, while all of the others are out to lunch. Slowly but surely, the atmospheric parameters came together to create some great severe weather potential. The SPC had issued a 5% risk for hail and wind. 0% for tornadoes despite the somewhat favorable wind shear values which were conductive to a few rotating updrafts. One of which I was on. There are 3 sets of footage, so be sure to keep scrolling after viewing the first batch of media. Storm #1: The Supercell The first … Read More…


Time Lapse: Rain Showers and Sunset

4/11/14 – Today was a day with some potential for something photogenic to take place. Low potential, but some potential nonetheless. With a couple of computer models predicting some light showers developing going into the late afternoon and evening, I had my plans set to go document the weather. I figured I’d at least get a good sunset. I decided to make this a cycling adventure, as well as a weather documentation event. Once I was on the road, I knew it was shaping up to be a good evening. There was a patch of cumulus growing to my west. The sun angle was very nice shining through those. As I arrived to my filming spot, I was also surprised with how nice the rain showers were looking. They developed in relatively short order. I was treated to a very nice display of rain showers, clouds, and a sunset. As an added bonus, I found a large puddle in the field to use as a reflection for some of my … Read More…


Brilliant Sunset Time Lapse

4/10/14 – After a mostly cloudy day associated with a departing low pressure system, I noticed the edge of the cloud deck to my west creeping ever so closer. At first, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Would more clouds develop and ruin the potential for a beautiful sunset? Would the clouds even light up? Was the clearing line too far west? Lots of questions. But I timed the clouds, and positioned myself to capture what could be anyway. I’m a weather chaser, so yes, I chase weather of all types. Storms, snow, rain, clouds, and yes, even sunsets and rainbows! I love all different kinds of weather. So this sunset’s potential had me on alert. As I tracked the clouds in, the subtle colors began to show up, even before the sun had set below the deck of clouds. Right then, I knew I made a good call. Below, you can see a visible satellite animated gif of the clouds, and to the right of that, my position (red … Read More…


A Weather Time Lapse Day

4/8/14 – Today was a great day for weather time lapse! The conditions were nearly perfect for some light showers to develop. There was some instability present, albeit weak. SBCAPE was on the order of 100j/kg, and the Low Level Lapse Rates were impressive, up into the 8.5 range as I was shooting these showers. Below is a PYKL3 radar screenshot from my cell phone. (my general location is shown on the screenshot, I was actually a bit east of there) I’ve also included some mesoanalysis images. Left to right, SBCAPE, SB Lifted Index, MSLP, Low Level Lapse Rates, and PWAT. Click images for larger view. They did have a hard time overcoming the drier air at the surface, so much of the precipitation was in the form of Virga. But that made for even better time lapse footage. Also, as you can see in the first photo in this article, the persistent snow pile along the side of the road. It was, at one point, nearly 6 feet tall. … Read More…


Early Spring Cycling Adventure

GREENVILLE, MI – Went for a good bike ride on March 31, 2014, making 2 days in a row of cycling. 3/31/14 was the first time we’ve seen 60F temperatures since November 17, 2013! If you remember, we had a severe weather outbreak that day. That was not so this time. It was breezy, but that didn’t take away from the warm air much. I started out on paved roads, but then ended up on this dirt road, which I frequent for it’s tranquility and good visibility. Along the roadway, I found a long pile of plowed snow. This snow was 3-4 feet tall in spots. There was still snow in the fields, and the road was very muddy. I couldn’t ride very far. Once the road really started getting bad, I stopped and turned around. But not before getting some photos and a quick video showing the road conditions, and also the long snow pile. I also found a pair of Geese in the field. All in all a … Read More…


What Storm Chasing Means To Me

What Storm Chasing Means To Me To me, storm chasing means experiencing the thrill and excitement of heading out into the unknown. From the fields of Michigan (my home state) to the open plains and everywhere in between. The forecasting, tracking, and positioning is as exciting, as it is stressful. But if you play your cards right, and nature is on your side, the rewards are truly amazing. It’s more than just what you do. It’s how you do it, how you feel. Emotionally, physically, and mentally. My goal is to experience mother nature at her best, or worst in many cases, and share my experiences with the world. No storm is the same. You could intercept 50 storms in a row, and every single one of them would be different in some way. That is part of the magic. It’s never boring, because there is always something new to see. Storms even have their own distinct scents. The smell of rain cooled air, the smell of wet dust. It’s … Read More…


Photogenic Showers + Time Lapse!

On October 19, 2013 I awoke to a patch of cumulus outside my window that looked somewhat photogenic. I drove to one of my favorite spots to better photograph them. Little did I know that I would be there for 2-4 hours snapping photos and recording videos for time lapse. Once the photogenic showers began, they just didn’t stop. One after the other, photo opportunities all around. Not only did I get to see rain showers, but I was also treated to a weak ragged shelf cloud along an outflow boundary. I was also treated to a large flock of Geese, and also several small flocks of Cranes. I did get photos of them, and videos too (videos of the Geese and Cranes will be posted at a later time. Look for them at THIS LINK). All in all it was a great day. The sunshine definitely played a role, more that just the destabilization, but also accented the scenes well. Below is a time lapse video of the rain … Read More…


Another Beautiful Sunset (Time Lapse Video + Photos)

Back to back gorgeous sunsets on 8/8/13 and 8/9/13. What more could a photographer ask for? I was out riding my bike at the time. I didn’t have my tripod with me, so for the video I just steadied my camera on my bicycle’s seat cushion. The angle was actually pretty good at accenting the sunset, so I’m not disappointed. Photos and videos are below. I captured some pretty cloud scenes before the sunset as well. It was definitely great to experience. Feel free to share this article around! … Read More…


Beautiful Sunset 8/8/13

August 8, 2013 – I was treated to some nice cloudscapes, including an absolutely beautiful sunset. I decided to take the opportunity to capture things in a different light than usual. I was out riding my bike, and knew from looking at the approaching high clouds that the sunset would be quite a nice show. I rode up to one of my favorite spots in the country to capture what was to come. Slowly but surely the colors began to appear, and they became brighter, and deeper. I decided to go for many shots, including some new things like using my bicycle as a prop. I captured a photo I call “Cycling Dreams” and it has really taken off over on my facebook page. This photo is one of my favorites, because of all the emotions that come with it for many different people, from all walks of life. Cycling is a way to get back with nature, it is a way to stay in shape, to commute, to recreate, … Read More…


Severe Thunderstorm, Rainbow, Sunset, and Sky 6/17/13

June 17, 2013 – I was tracking the potential for storms all day long, in hopes that something would either fire along the cold front close enough to my chase range, or survive the trip across Lake Michigan and allow me to get out ahead of it. The latter scenario began to take shape, and I headed out to a favorite spot of mine with fields like that of the central plains. The storm was severe warned primarily for the potential for gusty winds, and some hail. The storm remained a single cell with one parent updraft through the majority of it’s lifetime. It was fairly high based as well, with some decent structure. I was able to obtain some good shots during the storm’s passage, including the fantastic structure (by Michigan’s standards), a vivid rainbow, a nice sunset, and some nice updraft towers, etc. The storm dissipated and sort of became more of a squall line after it moved off to my ESE. I also captured some of the … Read More…